Feb 06, 2021 11:38 UTC
  • Biden reverses Trump's terrorist designation of Yemen’s Ansarullah

The administration of US President Joe Biden has formally notified Congress that it will remove Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement from the list of foreign terrorist organizations, reversing a last-minute designation by former president Donald Trump.

“Secretary [Antony] Blinken has been clear about undertaking an expeditious review of the designations of Ansarullah given the profound implications for the people of Yemen, home to the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe,” an unnamed State Department official confirmed on Friday.

“After a comprehensive review, we can confirm that the Secretary intends to revoke the Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist designations of Ansarullah,” the official added.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the State Department had formally notified Congress of its plan to delist the Ansarullah movement.

The decision comes a day after the Biden administration announced an end to American support for the Saudi war on Yemen, including a freeze on arms sales to the Riyadh regime.

Critics of the Trump administration action had said that the designation would bring more pain to millions of starving people in Yemen.

Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s policy advocacy director said, “This purely counterproductive designation had caused months of uncertainty as aid organizations, banks, and importers of critical commodities like food and fuel were left in limbo.”  

On January 11, nine days before Biden was sworn into office, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced President Trump’s intent to designate Yemen’s Ansarullah movement as terrorist.

The Trump administration’s last-minute “terrorist” designation appeared to be a desperate attempt to step up pressure on the popular Ansarullah movement after the Saudi regime failed to fulfill the objectives of over five years of war on Yemen, despite all the support it had received from the US and other Western states.

The popular Ansarullah movement, backed by the Yemeni armed forces and allied popular groups, has gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and successfully defended Yemen, leaving Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the county.